Marble

Marble

Overview



Marble is a metamorphic rock
Metamorphic rock
Metamorphic rock is the transformation of an existing rock type, the protolith, in a process called metamorphism, which means "change in form". The protolith is subjected to heat and pressure causing profound physical and/or chemical change...

 composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite
Calcite
Calcite is a carbonate mineral and the most stable polymorph of calcium carbonate . The other polymorphs are the minerals aragonite and vaterite. Aragonite will change to calcite at 380-470°C, and vaterite is even less stable.-Properties:...

 or dolomite
Dolomite
Dolomite is a carbonate mineral composed of calcium magnesium carbonate CaMg2. The term is also used to describe the sedimentary carbonate rock dolostone....

.

Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

; however stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone.

Marble is commonly used for sculpture
Marble sculpture
Marble sculpture is the art of creating three-dimensional forms from marble. Sculpture is among the oldest of the arts. Even before painting cave walls, early humans fashioned shapes from stone. From these beginnings, artifacts have evolved to their current complexity...

 and as a building
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

 material.

The word "marble" derives from the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 "" (mármaron), from "" (mármaros), "crystalline rock", "shining stone", perhaps from the verb "" (marmaírō), "to flash, sparkle, gleam".
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Marble'
Start a new discussion about 'Marble'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia



Marble is a metamorphic rock
Metamorphic rock
Metamorphic rock is the transformation of an existing rock type, the protolith, in a process called metamorphism, which means "change in form". The protolith is subjected to heat and pressure causing profound physical and/or chemical change...

 composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite
Calcite
Calcite is a carbonate mineral and the most stable polymorph of calcium carbonate . The other polymorphs are the minerals aragonite and vaterite. Aragonite will change to calcite at 380-470°C, and vaterite is even less stable.-Properties:...

 or dolomite
Dolomite
Dolomite is a carbonate mineral composed of calcium magnesium carbonate CaMg2. The term is also used to describe the sedimentary carbonate rock dolostone....

.

Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

; however stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone.

Marble is commonly used for sculpture
Marble sculpture
Marble sculpture is the art of creating three-dimensional forms from marble. Sculpture is among the oldest of the arts. Even before painting cave walls, early humans fashioned shapes from stone. From these beginnings, artifacts have evolved to their current complexity...

 and as a building
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

 material.

Etymology


The word "marble" derives from the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 "" (mármaron), from "" (mármaros), "crystalline rock", "shining stone", perhaps from the verb "" (marmaírō), "to flash, sparkle, gleam". This stem is also the basis for the English word marmoreal, meaning "marble-like."

Whilst the English term resembles the French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 marbre, most other European languages (e.g. Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 mármol, Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 marmo, Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 mármore, German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

, Norwegian
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

, Danish
Danish language
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

 and Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

 marmor, Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 marmer, Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

 marmur, Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

 mermer, Czech
Czech language
Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers; it is the majority language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide. The language was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century...

 mramor and Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 мрáмор ) follow the original Greek.

Physical origins


Marble is a rock resulting from metamorphism
Metamorphism
Metamorphism is the solid-state recrystallization of pre-existing rocks due to changes in physical and chemical conditions, primarily heat, pressure, and the introduction of chemically active fluids. Mineralogical, chemical and crystallographic changes can occur during this process...

 of sedimentary
Sedimentary rock
Sedimentary rock are types of rock that are formed by the deposition of material at the Earth's surface and within bodies of water. Sedimentation is the collective name for processes that cause mineral and/or organic particles to settle and accumulate or minerals to precipitate from a solution....

 carbonate rocks, most commonly limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

 or dolomite rock
Dolostone
Dolostone or dolomite rock is a sedimentary carbonate rock that contains a high percentage of the mineral dolomite. In old U.S.G.S. publications it was referred to as magnesian limestone. Most dolostone formed as a magnesium replacement of limestone or lime mud prior to lithification. It is...

. Metamorphism causes variable recrystallization of the original carbonate mineral grains.

The resulting marble rock is typically composed of an interlocking mosaic of carbonate crystal
Crystal
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituent atoms, molecules, or ions are arranged in an orderly repeating pattern extending in all three spatial dimensions. The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation is known as crystallography...

s. Primary sedimentary textures and structures of the original carbonate rock (protolith) have typically been modified or destroyed.

Pure white marble is the result of metamorphism of a very pure (silicate-poor) limestone or dolomite protolith. The characteristic swirls and veins of many colored marble varieties are usually due to various mineral impurities such as clay
Clay
Clay is a general term including many combinations of one or more clay minerals with traces of metal oxides and organic matter. Geologic clay deposits are mostly composed of phyllosilicate minerals containing variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure.- Formation :Clay minerals...

, silt
Silt
Silt is granular material of a size somewhere between sand and clay whose mineral origin is quartz and feldspar. Silt may occur as a soil or as suspended sediment in a surface water body...

, sand
Sand
Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles.The composition of sand is highly variable, depending on the local rock sources and conditions, but the most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal...

, iron oxide
Iron oxide
Iron oxides are chemical compounds composed of iron and oxygen. All together, there are sixteen known iron oxides and oxyhydroxides.Iron oxides and oxide-hydroxides are widespread in nature, play an important role in many geological and biological processes, and are widely utilized by humans, e.g.,...

s, or chert
Chert
Chert is a fine-grained silica-rich microcrystalline, cryptocrystalline or microfibrous sedimentary rock that may contain small fossils. It varies greatly in color , but most often manifests as gray, brown, grayish brown and light green to rusty red; its color is an expression of trace elements...

 which were originally present as grains or layers in the limestone.

Green coloration is often due to serpentine resulting from originally high magnesium limestone or dolostone with silica impurities. These various impurities have been mobilized and recrystallized by the intense pressure and heat of the metamorphism.

Types



Examples of historically notable marble varieties and locations:
Marble name Color Location Country
Bucova Marble white, gray Băuţar
Bautar
Băuţar is a commune in Caraş-Severin County, western Romania with a population of 2.813 people. It is composed of four villages: Băuţar, Bucova , Cornişoru and Preveciori. It is the only commune in the county located in the historical region of Transylvania; the rest is in the Banat.-References:...

, Caraş-Severin County (applied in Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa
Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa
Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa was the capital and the largest city of Roman Dacia, later named Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa after the former Dacian capital, located some 40 km away. Built on the ground of a camp of the Fifth Macedonian Legion, the city was populated with...

)
Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

Carrara marble white or blue-gray Carrara
Carrara
Carrara is a city and comune in the province of Massa-Carrara , notable for the white or blue-grey marble quarried there. It is on the Carrione River, some west-northwest of Florence....

Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

Connemara marble green Connemara
Connemara
Connemara is a district in the west of Ireland consisting of a broad peninsula between Killary Harbour and Kilkieran Bay in the west of County Galway.-Overview:...

Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

Creole marble
Creole marble
Creole marble, also called Georgia creole or Georgia marble is a marble from quarries in Pickens County, Georgia. It is coarse-grained, displays a white or gray background while veins or clouds are black or dark blue...

white and blue/black Pickens County, Georgia
Pickens County, Georgia
Pickens County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. The 2000 Census showed a population of 22,983. The 2007 Census Estimate showed a population of 30,488...

United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Ziarat White marble Pure white Ziarat Region Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

Badal marble Grey, Grayish white NWFP, Baluchistan Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

Boticena marble Various Colors and Textures NWFP, Baluchistan Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

Etowah marble
Etowah marble
Etowah marble, also called Georgia pink marble, is a marble with a characteristic pink, salmon, or rose color that comes from quarries near Tate, Georgia.-Notable buildings with Etowah marble:*Carillon, Boks Tower Gardens, Florida...

pink, salmon, rose Pickens County, Georgia
Pickens County, Georgia
Pickens County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. The 2000 Census showed a population of 22,983. The 2007 Census Estimate showed a population of 30,488...

United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Macael marble white Macael
Macael
-External links: - Sistema de Información Multiterritorial de Andalucía - Diputación Provincial de Almería...

, Almeria
Almería
Almería is a city in Andalusia, Spain, on the Mediterranean Sea. It is the capital of the province of the same name.-Toponym:Tradition says that the name Almería stems from the Arabic المرية Al-Mariyya: "The Mirror", comparing it to "The Mirror of the Sea"...

Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

Makrana Marble white Makrana
Makrana
Makrana is a town in the Nagaur district of Indian state of Rajasthan. Makrana is famous for the white stone as marble mined from the mines around it. It is said that the Taj Mahal was built from Makrana marble. Makrana is a small town, but it has plenty of marble outcrops. Most of the residents...

India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

Murphy Marble
Georgia Marble Company
The Georgia Marble Company was founded in 1884 by Henry Fitzsimmons. Fitzsimmons leased out all the land in Pickens County, Georgia, that contained rich Georgia marble. Pickens County has a vein of marble long, half as wide and deep.-Company history:...

white Pickens
Pickens County, Georgia
Pickens County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. The 2000 Census showed a population of 22,983. The 2007 Census Estimate showed a population of 30,488...

 and Gilmer Counties, Georgia
Gilmer County, Georgia
Gilmer County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. It was created on December 3, 1832 and was named for George Rockingham Gilmer. As of 2000, the population was 23,456. The 2007 Census Estimate shows a population of 28,389...

United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Parian marble
Parian marble
Parian marble is a fine-grained semitranslucent pure-white and entirely flawless marble quarried during the classical era on the Greek island of Paros in the Aegean Sea.It was highly prized by ancient Greeks for making sculptures...

pure-white, fine-grained Island of Paros
Paros
Paros is an island of Greece in the central Aegean Sea. One of the Cyclades island group, it lies to the west of Naxos, from which it is separated by a channel about wide. It lies approximately south-east of Piraeus. The Municipality of Paros includes numerous uninhabited offshore islets...

Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

Pentelic marble pure-white, fine-grained semitranslucent Penteliko Mountain, Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

Phrygian Marble purple Phrygia
Phrygia
In antiquity, Phrygia was a kingdom in the west central part of Anatolia, in what is now modern-day Turkey. The Phrygians initially lived in the southern Balkans; according to Herodotus, under the name of Bryges , changing it to Phruges after their final migration to Anatolia, via the...

Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

Purbeck Marble
Purbeck Marble
Purbeck Marble is a fossiliferous limestone quarried in the Isle of Purbeck, a peninsula in south-east Dorset, England.It is one of many kinds of Purbeck Limestone, deposited in the late Jurassic or early Cretaceous periods....

Grey/Brown Isle of Purbeck
Isle of Purbeck
The Isle of Purbeck, not a true island but a peninsula, is in the county of Dorset, England. It is bordered by the English Channel to the south and east, where steep cliffs fall to the sea; and by the marshy lands of the River Frome and Poole Harbour to the north. Its western boundary is less well...

United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

Ruskeala Marble
Ruskeala
Ruskeala is a rural locality under the administrative jurisdiction of the town of Sortavala in the Republic of Karelia, Russia....

white near Ruskeala
Ruskeala
Ruskeala is a rural locality under the administrative jurisdiction of the town of Sortavala in the Republic of Karelia, Russia....

, Karelia
Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

Sienese Marble yellow, yellowish-white near Sovicille
Sovicille
Sovicille is a comune in the Province of Siena in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 60 km south of Florence and about 10 km southwest of Siena....

, Tuscany
Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

Bianco Sivec
Sivec
Sivec is the trademark of the dolomitic marble extracted from the quarries of Mermeren Kombinat A.D. Prilep, near the town of Prilep in Macedonia. The fine grain makes it ideal for sculpture and architectural applications.-History:...

white near Prilep
Prilep
Prilep is the fourth largest city in the Republic of Macedonia. It has a population of 66,246 citizens. Prilep is known as "the city under Marko's Towers" because of its proximity to the towers of Prince Marko.-Name:...

Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

Sylacauga marble
Sylacauga marble
Sylacauga marble is found in a belt running through Talladega County, Alabama. It is prized for its pure white color and its crystalline structure. The stone is named after the town of Sylacauga, Alabama, which is sometimes called "the Marble City". Sylacauga marble has been called the "world's...

white Talladega County, Alabama
Talladega County, Alabama
Talladega County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. Talladega is a Muscogee Native American word derived from TVLVTEKE, which means "border town." As of 2010, the population was 82,291...

United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Tennessee marble
Tennessee marble
Tennessee marble is a type of crystalline limestone found primarily in East Tennessee, in the southeastern United States. Long esteemed by architects and builders for its pinkish-gray color and the ease with which it is polished, this stone has been used in the construction of numerous notable...

pale pink to cedar-red Knox
Knox County, Tennessee
Knox County is a county in the U.S. state of Tennessee. Its 2007 population was estimated at 423,874 by the United States Census Bureau. Its county seat is Knoxville, as it has been since the creation of the county. The county is at the geographical center of the Great Valley of East Tennessee...

, Blount
Blount County, Tennessee
Blount County is a U.S. county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. Its population was 123,010 at the United States Census, 2010. The county seat is at Maryville, which is also the county's largest city....

 and Hawkins Counties
Hawkins County, Tennessee
Hawkins County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of 2010, the population was 56,833. Its county seat is Rogersville, Tennessee's second-oldest town....

, Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Vermont Marble
Vermont Marble Museum
The Vermont Marble Museum or Vermont Marble Exhibit is a museum commemorating the contributions of Vermont marble and the Vermont Marble Company, located in Proctor, Vermont, USA...

white Proctor
Proctor, Vermont
-Notable people:* Bernard Joseph Flanagan, bishop* F. Ray Keyser, governor of Vermont* Frank Charles Partridge, senator* Fletcher Dutton Proctor, governor of Vermont* Mortimer Robinson Proctor, governor of Vermont...

, Vermont
United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Yule Marble
Yule Marble
Yule Marble is a type of metamorphed limestone found only in the Yule Creek Valley, in the West Elk Mountains of Colorado, just south of the town of Marble, Colorado . Quarried today at 9,300 feet above sea level, Yule Marble is famous for its uniform pure white consistency, lacking, for the most...

uniform pure white near Marble, Colorado
Marble, Colorado
Marble is a Statutory Town in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States. The population was 131 at the 2010 census.-History:The town of Marble was first incorporated in 1899...

United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Wunsiedel Marble
Wunsiedel Marble
Wunsiedel Marble is a group of metamorphic carbonate rocks, which were, and are, mainly extracted in the German town Wunsiedel at several quarries. This Upper Franconian calcite marble occurs both in this region and beyond, particularly in Bavaria...

white Wunsiedel
Wunsiedel
Wunsiedel is the county town of the Upper Franconian district of Wunsiedel in northeast Bavaria, Germany. The town became well known for its annual Luisenburg Festival and the Rudolf Hess Memorial March held by the Neo-Nazis here until 2005.- Geography :...

, Bavaria
Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...


Sculpture


White marble has been prized for its use in sculptures
Marble sculpture
Marble sculpture is the art of creating three-dimensional forms from marble. Sculpture is among the oldest of the arts. Even before painting cave walls, early humans fashioned shapes from stone. From these beginnings, artifacts have evolved to their current complexity...

 since classical times
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

. This preference has to do with its softness, relative isotropy
Isotropy
Isotropy is uniformity in all orientations; it is derived from the Greek iso and tropos . Precise definitions depend on the subject area. Exceptions, or inequalities, are frequently indicated by the prefix an, hence anisotropy. Anisotropy is also used to describe situations where properties vary...

 and homogeneity, and a relative resistance to shattering. Also, the low index of refraction
Refractive index
In optics the refractive index or index of refraction of a substance or medium is a measure of the speed of light in that medium. It is expressed as a ratio of the speed of light in vacuum relative to that in the considered medium....

 of calcite allows light to penetrate several millimeters into the stone before being scattered out, resulting in the characteristic waxy look which gives "life" to marble sculptures of the human body.

Construction marble


Construction marble is a stone which is composed of calcite, dolomite or serpentine which is capable of taking a polish. More generally in construction
Construction
In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking...

, specifically the dimension stone
Dimension stone
Dimension stone is natural stone or rock that has been selected and fabricated to specific sizes or shapes. Color, texture and pattern, and surface finish of the stone are also normal requirements...

 trade, the term "marble" is used for any crystalline calcitic rock (and some non-calcitic rocks) useful as building stone. For example, Tennessee marble
Tennessee marble
Tennessee marble is a type of crystalline limestone found primarily in East Tennessee, in the southeastern United States. Long esteemed by architects and builders for its pinkish-gray color and the ease with which it is polished, this stone has been used in the construction of numerous notable...

 is really a dense granular fossiliferous gray to pink to maroon Ordovician
Ordovician
The Ordovician is a geologic period and system, the second of six of the Paleozoic Era, and covers the time between 488.3±1.7 to 443.7±1.5 million years ago . It follows the Cambrian Period and is followed by the Silurian Period...

 limestone that geologists
Geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

 call the Holston Formation
Holston Formation
The Holston Formation, alternately known as the Holston Limestone, is a stratigraphic unit of Ordovician age within the Chickamauga Group in the Ridge-and-Valley physiographic province of the southeastern United States...

.

Production


According to the United States Geological Survey
United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it. The organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology,...

, U.S. dimension marble production in 2006 was 46,400 tons valued at $18.1 million, compared to 72,300 tons valued at $18.9 million in 2005. Crushed marble production (for aggregate and industrial uses) in 2006 was 11.8 million tons valued at $116 million, of which 6.5 million tons was finely ground calcium carbonate
Calcium carbonate
Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound with the formula CaCO3. It is a common substance found in rocks in all parts of the world, and is the main component of shells of marine organisms, snails, coal balls, pearls, and eggshells. Calcium carbonate is the active ingredient in agricultural lime,...

 and the rest was construction aggregate
Construction Aggregate
Construction aggregate, or simply "aggregate", is a broad category of coarse particulate material used in construction, including sand, gravel, crushed stone, slag, recycled concrete and geosynthetic aggregates. Aggregates are the most mined material in the world...

. For comparison, 2005 crushed marble production was 7.76 million tons valued at $58.7 million, of which 4.8 million tons was finely ground calcium carbonate and the rest was construction aggregate. U.S. dimension marble demand is about 1.3 million tons. The DSAN World Demand for (finished) Marble Index has shown a growth of 12% annually for the 2000–2006 period, compared to 10.5% annually for the 2000–2005 period. The largest dimension marble application is tile.

Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 is one of the largest marble exporters of the world with exports totaling to around a 100,000 tonnes per annum. China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 is the chief importer of marble, specifically Pakistani marble, with imports amounting to more than 70,000 tonnes in a single calendar year.

Artificial marble


Marble dust is combined with cement or synthetic resins to make reconstituted or cultured marble. The appearance of marble can be simulated with faux marbling
Faux marbling
Marbleizing or faux marbling is the preparation and finishing of a surface to imitate the appearance of polished marble. It is typically used in buildings where the cost or weight of genuine marble would be prohibitive...

, a painting technique that imitates the stone's color patterns.

Cultural associations




As the favorite medium for Greek and Roman sculptors and architects (see classical sculpture
Classical sculpture
Classical sculpture refers to the forms of sculpture from Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, as well as the Hellenized and Romanized civilizations under their rule or influence from about 500 BC to fall of Rome in AD 476. It also refers stylistically to modern sculptures done in a classical style....

), marble has become a cultural symbol
Symbol
A symbol is something which represents an idea, a physical entity or a process but is distinct from it. The purpose of a symbol is to communicate meaning. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On a map, a picture of a tent might represent a campsite. Numerals are symbols for...

 of tradition and refined taste. Its extremely varied and colorful patterns make it a favorite decorative material, and it is often imitated in background patterns for computer display
Computer display
A monitor or display is an electronic visual display for computers. The monitor comprises the display device, circuitry, and an enclosure...

s, etc.

Places named after the stone include Marblehead
Marblehead, Ohio
Marblehead is a village in Ottawa County, Ohio, United States. The population was 762 at the 2000 census.It sits at the tip of the Marblehead Peninsula, which divides Lake Erie proper from Sandusky Bay...

, Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

; Marblehead, Massachusetts
Marblehead, Massachusetts
Marblehead is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 19,808 at the 2010 census. It is home to the Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary and Devereux Beach...

; Marble Arch
Marble Arch
Marble Arch is a white Carrara marble monument that now stands on a large traffic island at the junction of Oxford Street, Park Lane, and Edgware Road, almost directly opposite Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park in London, England...

, London; the Sea of Marmara
Sea of Marmara
The Sea of Marmara , also known as the Sea of Marmora or the Marmara Sea, and in the context of classical antiquity as the Propontis , is the inland sea that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus separating Turkey's Asian and European parts. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Black...

; India's Marble Rocks
Marble Rocks
The Marble Rocks is an area along a river in central India near the city of Jabalpur in Jabalpur District of Madhya Pradesh state. The river has carved the soft marble, creating a beautiful gorge of about 3 km in length. They are a popular Indian tourist destination...

; and the towns of Marble, Minnesota
Marble, Minnesota
Marble is a city in Itasca County, Minnesota, USA. It is part of the chain of small mining towns known as the Iron Range. Many mines have since shut down and stressed the local economy. The population was 701 at the 2010 census.U.S...

; Marble, Colorado
Marble, Colorado
Marble is a Statutory Town in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States. The population was 131 at the 2010 census.-History:The town of Marble was first incorporated in 1899...

; Marble Falls, Texas
Marble Falls, Texas
Marble Falls is a city in Burnet County, Texas, United States. The population was 4,959 at the 2000 census.Marble Falls is about northwest of Austin and north of San Antonio...

, and Marble Hill, Manhattan, New York. The Elgin Marbles
Elgin Marbles
The Parthenon Marbles, forming a part of the collection known as the Elgin Marbles , are a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures , inscriptions and architectural members that originally were part of the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens...

 are marble sculptures from the Parthenon
Parthenon
The Parthenon is a temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their virgin patron. Its construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the height of its power. It was completed in 438 BC, although...

 that are on display in the British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

. They were brought to Britain by the Earl of Elgin
Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin
Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin and 11th Earl of Kincardine was a Scottish nobleman and diplomat, known for the removal of marble sculptures from the Parthenon in Athens. Elgin was the second son of Charles Bruce, 5th Earl of Elgin and his wife Martha Whyte...

.

See also

  • Cultured marble, marble powder with a binder.
  • International Association of Marble, Slate and Stone Polishers, Rubbers and Sawyers, Tile and Marble setters' Helpers and Marble Mosaic and Terrazzo Workers' Helpers
  • faux marbling, painting surfaces to look like marble.
  • Marble sculpture
    Marble sculpture
    Marble sculpture is the art of creating three-dimensional forms from marble. Sculpture is among the oldest of the arts. Even before painting cave walls, early humans fashioned shapes from stone. From these beginnings, artifacts have evolved to their current complexity...

  • Paper marbling
    Paper marbling
    Paper marbling is a method of aqueous surface design, which can produce patterns similar to smooth marble or other stone. The patterns are the result of color floated on either plain water or a viscous solution known as size, and then carefully transferred to an absorbent surface, such as paper or...

  • Pietra dura
    Pietra dura
    Pietra dura or pietre dure , called parchin kari in South Asia, is a term for the technique of using cut and fitted, highly-polished colored stones to create images. It is considered a decorative art...

    , inlaying with marble and other stones.
  • Scagliola
    Scagliola
    Scagliola , is a technique for producing stucco columns, sculptures, and other architectural elements that resemble inlays in marble and semi-precious stones...

    , imitating marble with plasterwork.
  • Verd antique
    Verd antique
    Verd antique , or verde antique, is a serpentinite breccia popular since ancient times as a decorative facing stone. It is a dark, dull green, white-mottled serpentine, mixed with calcite, dolomite, or magnesite, which takes a high polish...

     – sometimes (erroneously) called "serpentine marble"
  • Yule Marble
    Yule Marble
    Yule Marble is a type of metamorphed limestone found only in the Yule Creek Valley, in the West Elk Mountains of Colorado, just south of the town of Marble, Colorado . Quarried today at 9,300 feet above sea level, Yule Marble is famous for its uniform pure white consistency, lacking, for the most...


External links